Chattering, snarling and teeth-gnashing



in many people the language of the land is harmed, and some use strange inarticulate utterance, chattering, snarling, and harsh teeth-gnashing

No, it isn’t a pedant like Gert, or a harassed parent who can’t understand a word her kids say, or anyone listening to  Donald Trump.  It’s Ranulph Higden in the 14th century, complaining about the influence of the Danes and Normans.   It’s nice to know that at least we got our own back on the Normans (Jacques Chirac once stormed out of an EU summit because a French business leader was speaking English) but those bloody Danes are still running rings around us – and most of them speak far better English than we do.

Maybe Brexit will fix it?


Images: Photopin

8 thoughts on “Chattering, snarling and teeth-gnashing

  1. I recently read (and have scheduled a review of) an early Le Carré novel, when a passage caught my eye: Smiley was talking about people who “can’t feel anything inside them, no pleasure or pain, no love or hate; they’re ashamed and frightened that they can’t feel.”

    A Murder of Quality in fact seems quite prescient when it discusses such people, particularly those who feel they have an entitlement to privilege and government: “The world sees them as showmen, fantasists, liars, as sensualists perhaps, not for what they are: the living dead.”

    ‘The living dead’ is how I now see those Brexiteers deliberately driving Britain towards a cliff edge, Trump and his corrupt entourage turning the US into an international pariah, in fact anyone who’s currently fiddling while Rome and the rest of the world burns: showmen, fantasists, liars and sensualists all of them.

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